Every Bracelet Has a Story

April 11, 2016

Every Bracelet Has a Story

What we wear tells a lot about us. Our clothes and accessories can offer subtle clues or explicit messages as to who we are and how we see ourselves. But best of all the clothes we wear and the accessories we sport, in some ways the humble bracelet can be the most evocative. It can tell others about we come from and what we plan on becoming, and it can also convey what we care about the most.

Heirloom Bracelets

Perhaps among the more interesting stories are those that are associated with heirloom bracelets. Many of these bracelets are passed on from mother to daughter, although other variations of these may include grandma to granddaughter, or elder aunt or sister to younger niece or sister. It may even be passed on from one friend to another.

The giving of one heirloom bracelet often comes with a story. Part of why these stories tend to be interesting is because these bracelets already have a history. The heirloom bracelet tends to have some significance—perhaps it was made or given during a special time or occasion. The stories may be adventurous (“this bracelet helped me get through the war”) or it may be romantic (“this bracelet was given to me by your grandfather on our first date or 50th anniversary”), but almost always they tend to be significant to the giver. By being chosen as the recipient of the heirloom bracelet, you are responsible for it. You are trusted with this legacy, and when you it in turn to the next recipient you are required to tell the story of its history—of how the original owner got it, and how you got it. You then explain why you think the recipient is worthy of the honor of being the next in line to receive the bracelet. 

Sentimental Bracelets

You can buy a bracelet (or have it given to you as a gift) for sentimental reasons. A family member may give you a bracelet, or your special someone may give it you as a romantic gesture. It’s a rather special way to say I love you.

You can also have bracelets of this type to which you can attach charms. The charms you attach can signify various important events of your life, and later on in life you can pass it on to a younger family member—and now you’ve started an heirloom bracelet of your own. It’s like a photo album, except a bracelet is much more subtle and can contain more charms.

Just be sure to explain each charm so the recipient knows what everything means, so that the bracelet can be appreciated and treasured to the fullest.

Commemorative Bracelets

For the past couple of decades, bracelets have also become effective and popular means of espousing a particular cause or charity. While there is some debate as to when this started, some believe that it was an evolutionary offshoot of wearing ribbons. During the 1980s and 1990s, many people wore ribbons in order to signify their support of those who were stricken with AIDS. These ribbons were meant to increase awareness of the disease, so that people will know how to prevent it from spreading and so that people can also show sympathy rather than antipathy for those who contracted the disease. Soon, the ribbons also became popular to show support and increase awareness for other medical conditions, such as breast cancer. This further evolved into increasing awareness for various social problems as well, including domestic violence, child abuse, alcoholism, and racism.

The use of ribbons has become less popular today, and has now been increasingly replaced by wearing bracelets instead. It’s very obvious that bracelets have several advantages over ribbons.

  • Bracelets are much easier to out on and take off.
  • You can wear bracelets without taking them off, unlike ribbons which have to be taken off when clothes are taken to the cleaners.
  • Bracelets are much sturdier, and they can last far longer than ribbons.
  • Bracelets can contain lots of information that can’t be put on ribbons. Ribbons generally just show a color. Bracelets, on the other hand, can have words printed on them. Now people don’t have to memorize which colors symbolize which cause, as you can just print the cause on the bracelet. You can also print relevant website addresses on the ribbon so that you can really increase awareness among the people you meet and encounter.

Many people often have personal reasons for choosing a particular cause. Often it’s because a loved one was stricken by a particular disease or have been victimized by a social problem. You can tell that story to others when they ask about your bracelet, so that you can increase awareness and perhaps even encourage support from people you meet.

Decorative Bracelets

Sometimes, though, a bracelet may be worn simple for decorative purposes. Sometimes it’s all about fashion. While this particular reason may not be as serious or as deep as the others, you can’t deny how influential fashion is in today’s world. Every time we put on clothes, we make fashion choices—and essentially, many folks just like to look good.

The thing about bracelets is that unlike earrings or necklaces, we can also appreciate just how nice they look on our wrists. Earrings and necklaces are for others to see and appreciate, and we get the reflected results. If people like what they see, then we see their appreciation of it in their faces. But we can see the bracelets for ourselves, and we can see with our own eyes how good they look.

Decorative bracelets don’t always mean that they’re generic. You can always buy customized bracelets for yourself. You can dictate the colors and arrangements. You can allow for some words to be printed on it, like a shirt can have messages.  You can specify it width and other dimensions, and you can choose the types of knots it features. You can even choose the type of material the bracelet comes in—it can be made of precious gems and minerals, with natural fibers, or in more modern synthetic materials. In fact, there are so many different variables to consider that it’s unlikely that you can meet anyone else sporting the exact type of bracelet you’re wearing. You can be unique in your own small way, and in fashion uniqueness has its charms.  Wanting to look good may be a very common story across the world, but it’s still a worthy story in its own special way.

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